Missy Elliot Has Graves Disease, Thyroid Problem

missyRapper Missy Elliot hasn’t been around lately and she just made the reason for her absence public. The star once walked around in inflated garbage bags (were you at Lilith Fair at Jones Beach in 1999?) has been suffering from Graves Disease, an autoimmune problem that affects the thyroid and had to undergo radiation treatment to help her condition.

More Pictures of Missy Elliot

Elliot was diagnosed with Graves in 2008 and she says she experienced symptoms so quickly that she began losing her hair and there were times she couldn’t even write, and she could definitely not drive.

“I was (driving and) trying to put my foot on the brake, but my leg was jumping,” Elliot recently told People Magazine. “I couldn’t keep the brake down and almost crashed… I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad—I couldn’t even use a pen.”

Elliot is doing better after focusing on her health.

“I’m 30 pounds lighter because I’ve been exercising,” added Elliot. “My thyroid is functioning, so I haven’t had to take medication in about nine months. (But) you live with it for the rest of your life.”

Missy Elliot will also be appearing on an upcoming episode of Behind the Music on VH1, during which she will further open up about her battle with Graves Disease and the abuse she suffered as a child.

MIssy.Elliot.Ching A LingElliot’s episode will air on June 29 to kick off the 2011 season.

“Missy was great and very candid,” said Brad Abramson, series executive producer to Perez Hilton. “She talked for the first time about her [near fatal bout with] Graves disease, which she’s been battling for the last few years, and spoke in detail about the sexual abuse she experienced as a child.”

Missy Elliot hasn’t released an album since 2005—her LP The Cookbook Missy Elliot. But now that she’s feeling well again, the hip hop star is planning to release her new album called Block Party later in 2011.

We can’t wait!